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Monday, February 15, 2010

.Ten Thousand Beside.

Here I sit with my stomach full of butterflies. I don't think I am scared. I think I am excited. Jim's candidating Sunday is this Sunday. I have a real, settled peace and confidence about the whole thing. It seems like this journey to get here has been so long, but amazing and seriously life-changing. I keep remembering back to the day Jim graduated from Bible College. After the ceremony Jim hugged his favorite professor, Colin Smith, and we will never forget the words Colin spoke to Jim.

You will never be happy or satisfied until you are a pastor.

And it's about to happen for Jim! There is still the reality that it may not happen at our home church, but nonetheless, we know that is the next step, and whether it be at Calvary or some other church....it's going to happen! Wow.

This has been such an amazing month for us so far. The blessings that God has just lavished on our family is incredible, and gives us such peace knowing that we have stepped out in faith and obedience to Him - even when it looks crazy to others - to us! I want to record the blessings we have experienced so far this month. I am so afraid I may forget some because there have been so many. These are our ten thousand beside.

If you have been following our story, you know that Jim resigned from his ministry position as program director. We stepped out in faith without a promise of any pastoral position, but knew this is where God was leading us. Jim's last day at camp was January 31st. So Jim has been unemployed this month. We had cut up our credit cards in January and do not have that to fall back on during this time - or ever again as we have committed to accruing no more debt of any kind. When we looked ahead to our month, we knew that we would be very tight with our bills. We were pretty sure we could survive the month, but we would have to use our emergency fund that we set up through the Dave Ramsey system. This would leave us unable to pay our mortgage March 1st. We committed our expenses to God and prayed fervently about the month ahead.

As of today, we have yet to tap into our emergency fund! This has been our prayer. Although, it looks as if to pay our bills this week, we will have to. Nonetheless it is amazing that we have made it into the third week of February without breaking into that account, and because of that - we now have enough money to pay our mortgage for March! God has blessed us in numerous ways via our best friends allowing Jim to work on their farm for ten hours a week, and paying him for it, a few unexpected checks in the mail (yes, that really does happen!), and numerous meals at people's homes. I have only made one trip to a grocery store this month, and that was to a Mennonite, bulk food co-op type store. I was able to stock up on whole wheat flour and honey - staples in our home. I have sent Jim to the store a few times for one or two items, but that is it! Our best friends also blessed us with a large amount of beef, just as our freezer had run out - without them knowing it had. We have been given eggs and milk by them as well. I keep saying that as long as we have eggs, milk, and bread - we are set! And we have those - praise God! We have had our fair share of scrambled egg sandwiches this month, but we are not starving - nope not at all.

On Friday I went to my mailbox and found an anonymous envelope from Illinois addressed to myself. It contained a $30 gift card to Target! A few days before that, I went to get our mail and found a box on our porch filled with new Gap clothes for my children! I already talked about a dryer that was given to us, before we even knew of that need. My mom has dropped off extras from their fridge - like homemade pancakes for the children and even a few sweet treats for them! This Saturday I realized that I was out of bread and needed to make another batch, but I remembered too late for lunch. I was racking my brain as to what I could feed my family when we received a phone call, again from our best friends, saying that they were bringing us lunch!

This past year I did really well shopping early for Christmas and birthdays. I had purchased enough stuff for my children, that I was able to spread it out for Valentine's day and Easter as well. So although money was tight, my children still got special Valentine gifts from Mommy and Daddy this year. What a blessing it was for me to remember those gifts stored in the attic!

Scotty had a doctor's appointment on Friday. Praise God that he has grown an inch and gained a pound!! He is now {barely} on the growth chart! His allergy medication has made a huge difference, and we are finally able to experience our boy's real and crazy, but sweet-as-always personality!! Scotty also officially started walking this month, just before his eighteen month birthday!

There have been moments that have looked bleak, like after we had figured out our budget for the month and realized we had missed over $300 in bills. But God has been so good, so faithful, and provided for our every need and beyond our needs - like the Target gift card and the clothing! I am awed. Besides the material blessings, which we truly are so grateful and thankful for, we have received little cards from people saying they are praying for us. We can feel the love and prayers being heaped upon us. The encouragement from our church family and friends is indescribable. I was supposed to be in nursery yesterday, and a woman from church called me Saturday to say that she wanted to take my place, so that I could be in the service. We will never, ever forget this time in our lives. To know that we are exactly where God would have us is better than anything we have ever experienced! We are so undeserving and so blessed and so very excited about this road ahead.

He has been so good.

There is no denying God's hand in this. I pray that even those that are on the outside looking in at our story would see and believe.

I pray that one day my children will read these words and see how much God has changed their timid, manipulative, self-seeking, Mommy, and how much God desires to change them as well.

Thank you God for these blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

10 comments:

Sara said...

It's always so encouraging to read of God's never ending faithfulness. What an awesome season to be living through!

Mich said...

Beautiful post...

Thanks for sharing your heart and the faithfulness of God.

Prayers and blessings as you continue to rely on His provision.

melissa said...

i love this! i am so encouraged to see God at work! I know he is always at work but its so refreshing to see others being touched by his love. thank you for sharing. my husband is in school right now working towards his ba in religious studies. he is a youth pastor now but I think much like your husband was told that mine will not be happy until he is a pastor! what an exciting adventure for you guys!!!!

Mandolin said...

Awesome! I have been waiting to see this post because I KNEW it would come. We have gone through this time and again... and God is always faithful. Even if its not always material things it IS always SOMETHING - spiritual growth, wisdom, etc. Praising the Lord with you!

Stephanie said...

Wow... that is so encouraging. It's hard to believe that things like clothes ending up on your porch and gift cards arriving in the mail actually happen, but they happened to you! God provides! I'm so thankful that you are able to pay your mortgage for March and are getting your daily needs met. Thank you for being an encouragement to others!!

Christy said...

What a blessing and truly a wonderful testimony that when we obey GOD he will provide!

Anonymous said...

amomentcherished.blogspot.com; You saved my day again.

Son and Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this story! I have been reading your blog for a while now, but have never commented. I just wanted you to know how encouraging your words are...

Carrie said...

Wonderful post - I LOVED reading about ALL the blessings that God is giving your family - it is OBVIOUSLY clear that you are on the right path!!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! :)

The Schmitz Family said...

How did you find out about the Mennonite, bulk food co-op type store? I would love to do something like that in our area, but am not sure how to go about locating it. I lived at the farmer's market this past summer/fall...

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